Qualcomm and Intel prepare handbags for CES battle

Nevermind AMD, Intel’s real enema is Qualcomm and the word on the street is that we will start to see the gloves come off at the Consumer Electronics Show next week in Las Vegas.


Both Intel and Qualcomm’s chief executives have been invited to the show and it is expected that both have been polishing their handbags to swing into each other.


Qualcomm Chief Executive Officer Paul Jacobs is down to show off notebook computers based on his company’s chips while Intel CEO Paul Otellini is expected to announce phones featuring his chips.


With both entering each other’s sphere of influence we expect the sarcasm to be flowing like Vodka at a Microsoft sales conference.


Bloomberg dug up a few analysts to remind the world and its dog that Intel has to be in the mobile arena if it is going to continue to do well.


Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist for research firm In-Stat said that Intel has worked out that people really are using smartphones for things other than being pretentious or playing Angry Birds.


Intel’s thinking is that Smartphones are becoming more like personal computers, giving an edge to Intel’s technology. But pretentious Angry Bird playing punters are Qualcomm’s bread and butter and it is not going to give them up without a fight.


Qualcomm has been given the chance to strike back, thanks to Microsoft’s decision to stick its Windows 8 onto ARM-based chips. This sails Qualcomm into Intel’s waters. If Windows works on ARM chips then these could be direct rivals, particularly in the cheap and cheerful end of the market.


As far as a war is concerned, Intel can only lose ground, because it owns most of the battlefield already. Even if Intel takes ten percent of the global market it is not really going to do much to the outfit’s bottom line. But if it loses 10 percent of the PC market, then it will be very cross.


Bloomberg seems to think that ARM-based processors could grab a third of the market for mobile computers by 2015, up from 8 percent last year. The total market will grow to 340 million units in 2015 from 275 million in 2010.


Meanwhile, Chipzilla will elbow its way from zero percent of the mobile market to about 13 per cent. Either way it means that CES will be entertaining. We will have to bring popcorn.